The rhythmic gymnastics team final at Tokyo 2020 has been dramatic viewing, to say the least.
US athlete Simone Biles the most decorated gymnast in history, has pulled out of the competition mid-way through proceedings.
After struggling with her landing in the first vault event and scoring lower than all the Russian and American gymnasts in the discipline, organisers announced Biles had pulled out of competing in the next piece of apparatus – the uneven bars.
It was later announced she would no longer be competing in the remaining team events. In an official statement posted to Twitter by US Gymnastics, it was revealed that Biles pulled out of the team all-around final due to a medical issue.
The news has come as a major shock to sports fans, given that Biles, 24, hasn’t lost an all-around competition since 2013.
While she’s clearly had a difficult run at Tokyo, the incredible sportswoman has already more than proved she’s one of the most accomplished athletes of all time. Here are just a few reasons why…
1. She has 25 world titles to her name
Biles proved she’s in a class of her own when she became the most decorated female gymnast at elite level at the World Championships in Stuttgart in 2019, beating all previous records.
Her accomplishments include being a four-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time all-round World Champion.
2. Her signature move is one of the most difficult
At just 16, Biles began competing with a mesmerising double flip and ‘half twist midair’ on the floor. The incredibly difficult move, which since became known as ‘The Biles’, is one of her signatures.
Biles is still the only woman who has performed The Biles on a vault at a competitive level.
3. She’s the first female athlete to cleanly land a triple-double
Simone Biles became the first ever female gymnast to cleanly land a ‘triple double’ – when a gymnast completes two backflips while twisting three times in the air – at the US Gymnastics Championships in August 2019.
The move has since been dubbed the ‘Biles II’, and it is the highest-rated skill across all apparatuses in women’s artistic gymnastics.
4. She dominated the 2016 Olympics
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Biles won individual gold medals in all-around, vault and floor, bronze in balance beam, and gold as part of the United States team.
Her floor routine went down in history as one of the most accomplished ever performed at an Olympic final.
5. She’s carried the pressure of being the team leader
In a post on social media, Biles talked about the pressure of being dubbed ‘The GOAT’, meaning the ‘greatest of all time’.
After the US gymnastics team posted uncharacteristically low scores during the Olympic qualifiers, she opened up to fans about her mental health on social media.
“[I]t wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” Biles said on Instagram.
“I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!” she added.
Win or lose, Biles is clearly an undisputed star of the Olympics and has already re-written the gymnastics history books.
What happens next remains to be seen – but we’re sure she’ll come back stronger, faster and more determined than ever.